lazypadawan: (Default)
A few weeks after Celebration, ReedPop sent out a survey asking people where they'd like to see the next U.S.-based show: back in Orlando, Indianapolis, Anaheim, Cleveland (??!!), Las Vegas, or Kansas City. I don't get the love affair with Indianapolis. The convention center was too small, the staff sucked, and there were only a few hotels within walking distance that charged outrageous money for rooms. It was like $250 a night in 2002! Otherwise you'd have to drive in from a nearby community or stay in a dive motel in the ghetto. At least Orlando had lots of rooms with all price ranges in a relatively safe area. Cleveland? You may as well hold it in Pittsburgh. Kansas City is centrally-located, no more than two and a half hours by plane from anywhere in the U.S., and it has tasty bbq. But it's not the most exciting locale. Anaheim has the chief advantages of Disneyland in its backyard and being driving distance from the bunker though you really shouldn't wander far from the tourist attractions. Vegas would be great: it's less than an hour by plane and there's no shortage of stuff to do. But it's really easy to spend a lot of money in Vegas even without a con.

If it were up to me and money was no object, I'd hold Celebration VII in Maui (just not in the rainy season). Maui's beautiful, the people are nice, and we can watch cosplayers go surfing. And who wouldn't want a reason to travel to Hawaii?

My backup would be Martha's Vineyard. The swells who "summer" there wouldn't know what to make of their little island being invaded by Star Wars fans. So what if there's no convention center? We'll just take up every rental and have a big clambake on the beach.

Other choices: Napa County, CA, Mackinaw Island, MI, and Scottsdale, AZ. I like classy locales...
lazypadawan: (Default)
So sayeth Reed Entertainment.

When I saw that there will only be something like a total of 150 VIP tickets available through two different tiers, I knew two things off the bat. One they will be very expensive and two, they will get snapped up in seconds and be sold on eBay for a huge markup. Celebrity fanboys with assistants fast on the click button will be the only ones who can get these tickets, which sucks.

By comparison, if you go over to Creation, the most hated name in fandom, and click on tickets for one of several Twilight cons scheduled for this year, you can get its version of the VIP package for $250. Usually, Creation's Gold package or whatever the hell they call it includes the best seats (assigned) for the chatty-chats, a few free autographs, and access to exclusive receptions at no extra cost. There were apparently a lot more than 150 of those available for the show in Anaheim and that won't draw 35,000-45,000 people like a Celebration would. Unless RPattz and Taylor Lautner show up shirtless.

I'm guessing these VIP passes are going for $500-$1000.

Update: TFN says the VIP passes are $350 for the lower tier and $750 for the higher tier. Only the $750 one allows you to meet anybody. Looking at the other perks, I'd say that if I got the lower tier one for $175 or even $200, I'd consider it. But for $350? I'm thinking maybe not.
lazypadawan: (Default)
Well, you can scratch Charm City off of the finals list for Celebration V. Baltimore's bid was rejected for the exact reason why I figured it could be rejected: the facilities are too small.

http://www.theforce.net/latestnews/story/Baltimore_Bid_For_Celebration_V_Rejected_127489.asp

That leaves Orlando, Indianapolis, Chicago, or Minneapolis (forgot that was a rumored possibility). Or some wild card.
lazypadawan: (Default)
TFN just posted about the Orlando Convention & Visitors Bureau preparing a pitch for Lucasfilm and Reed Exhibitions (which puts on New York Comic Con) next month. Not only does this mean Orlando is in play for Celebration, it also reveals that the convention is planned for much later in the year. Usually Celebration is in April or May. Orlando is blocking its convention center for August 2010:

http://www.theforce.net/latestnews/story/Possible_Celebration_V_News_126593.asp

If May is hot and humid in Central Florida, it's downright HELLISH in August! Take it from this Florida native, it's like being stuck in Satan's armpit. Not to mention it's at the height of hurricane season. But we'll see what pans out.

But all of this jockeying for Celebration is almost as bad as the Olympics. Sheesh.

Update: Visit your local Spirit Halloween Superstore to enter a sweepstakes where the lucky winner gets a free trip for four to the convention. TFN has pictures of the in-store standee promoting the contest.
lazypadawan: (Default)
As you might have noticed, there's no announcement at DragonCon on Celebration V. Examiner.com columnist Bryan Young decided to corner Steve Sansweet at the convention and get some answers out of him:

http://www.examiner.com/x-2730-Star-Wars-Examiner~y2009m9d8-The-lowdown-on-Star-Wars-Celebration-V

So, that means any West Coast location like Anaheim is out. Dallas or any other place in Texas is likely out too. So, that leaves the following possibilities of rumored candidates: Chicago, Indianapolis, Orlando, or Baltimore. Of all of those places, I think Indianapolis remains the most likely. There were two Celebrations there in the past, people seem to really like the location, and Indy recently rebuilt and expanded its convention center. I've heard the city is trying really hard to woo Celebration back. I think Orlando is the least likely. Why? It has the same problem Los Angeles had...it's a very spread-out city without too much close to its convention center. Unless it's at Universal (fat chance) or at Disney, Orlando's not a great locale. Disney already has Star Wars Weekends, likely held around the same time. They could try to combine the two events but having been to a crowded Disney Hollywood Studios park, I can't see an additional 35,000-40,000 fans along with the hundreds of thousands of regular folks. It would be chaos.

I'm kind of meh on Chicago. It's an easy and cheap flight from just about everywhere in America as well as international flights, there's transportation aplenty, but the weather there can be very unpredictable in late spring. Hotel rooms would be far more expensive than they would be in Indianapolis.

As for Baltimore, don't write it off. If Indianapolis doesn't get it, I think this is the second-most likely possibility. Why? There has never been a Celebration right on the East Coast. Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International is the cheapest airport in the Washington-Baltimore region, with some international flights. There's easy Amtrak and commuter rail access, and it's right on I-95. By car, it's less than an hour from Washington, D.C., just over two hours from Richmond and Philadelphia, about three hours from Pittsburgh, about four hours from New York City, and about six/seven hours from Boston. The downtown area has the Inner Harbor and Fells Point, full of restaurants and bars. It would be cheaper to hold the con there than in just about anywhere else on the East Coast. The downsides though are the smallish convention center and the fact you really don't want to go more than a couple of blocks outside of the Inner Harbor area, especially after dark.

Of course, they could totally surprise us and put the darn thing in Atlanta or Cleveland.

One thing that concerns me is that we're in September and there's no licensing partner to put on the convention. The last time they signed for a con "six months out" was when they put on Celebration I. You remember, the Great Denver Mud Party held at a museum because the NRA already had booked the convention center a year or so out? I realize we're in a recession and there may be plenty of convention centers still looking for a show to book. But the ideal locations might be gone for the ideal times.

Get crackin'.
lazypadawan: (Default)
TFN posted that Spirit, the annual Halloween "superstore" that usually opens shop in some closed retail space temporarily, has on its website a contest where you can win a trip for four to Celebration V. Where? It doesn't say. No details are given. But it sure seems weird they would have a contest for an event that's not even officially announced yet.

Unless something drops this weekend at DragonCon!
lazypadawan: (Default)
I posted about Celebration I here:

http://starwarsprequelappreciationsociety.wordpress.com/2009/05/01/ten-years-of-tpm-the-great-american-denver-mud-party/

And starwars.com has personal testimony from fans and Lucasfilm employees who survived the convention. Steve Sansweet reveals that some folks at Lucasfilm wanted to cancel Celebration because of the Columbine murders just 10 days beforehand and they really wrestled with the issue until local politicians convinced them to go forward with the event.
lazypadawan: (Quiggy/Padme/Ani)
starwars.com is looking back at the Great American Denver Mud Party, held 10 years ago this week, with recently discovered audio and articles about the first SW Celebration.

Life being what it is, I did not go to Celebration I. I couldn't figure out for the life of me why in God's name they would put the convention in freakin' Denver except for the fact it was the home (back then) of the official fan club. Of course, there's no logical reason to put future Celebrations in Indianapolis or Los Angeles either, but that's what happened. Anyway, I knew people who did brave the trip and based on what they told me, I was kind of glad I didn't go. If I paid hundreds of dollars to fly to Denver and go through what attendees went through, I'd clock somebody.

I'll have my own retrospective on Celebration I, based on the tales of terror, this week on SWPAS.

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